Salvador to Fortaleza

Salvador to Forteleza

Salvador de Bahia is a city and UNESCO world heritage site in eastern Brazil South America.  Salvador offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Pelhourinho, UNESCO world heritage site and historic center
  • OLODUM cultural group
  • Portuguese language schools
  • Capoeira dance schools
  • Lacerda elevator, Rio Branco Palace and Model market
  • Cathedral of Salvador
  • Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim
  • Porto da Barra Beach and Rio Vermelho
  • Igreja de N. S. do Rosário dos Pretos (catholic church)

There are many hotels in the Pelourinho, you can normally just arrive without booking and you’ll find one, if you do prefer to book ahead, most hotels offer online booking.

Lacerda Elevator, (Elevador Lacerda), Salvador

Lacerda Elevator, (Elevador Lacerda), Salvador

The Lacerda Elevator connects the upper part of Salvador (Pelourinho) with the lower part of the city.  You can walk up and down or take the elevator.  The view from the top is amazing, you can see out over the ocean and beach.  There is a plaza at the top of the elevator where you can watch people performing Capoeira (a tip will be expected).  Rio Branco Palace and is located on the plaza at the top of the elevator, the model market is located at the bottom of it.

Olodum live in Salvador
The main reason I visited Salvador is because this is where Michael Jackson filmed his music video ‘They Don’t Care About Us’.  Olodum, the band who feature in his music video play live in the streets of Salvador free of charge, at least once a week (above).  The part of Salvador featured in Michael’s music video is the historic center of Salvador, the Pelourinho.  The Pelourinho was the first capital of Brazil in 1549 and remained the capital for over 200 years.  Today the Pelourinho is well maintained and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Igreja de N. S. do Rosário dos Pretos (catholic church), Salvador

Igreja de N. S. do Rosário dos Pretos (catholic church), Salvador

The blue catholic church in the Pelourinho is stunning, opposite this is the balcony where Michael Jackson performed during his music video.  You can pay $5 to take a picture on the balcony where he stood.  The entrance to this house is a Michael Jackson / Olodum shop, I bought the red and the white Olodum shirts from here as Michael wore in his music video.  I stayed in the Hotel Pelourinho, which you can see clearly in his video when he’s dancing on the streets.  It’s not a great hotel, I only stayed there because Michael Jackson was singing and dancing right outside it in the video.

As I am on the subject of dancing it worth mentioning that Salvador is famous for learning Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts dance.  Check in hotels and restaurants around the Pelourinho for any adverts for Capoeira classes.  If you plan on staying in Salvador a while you could also take Portuguese classes.

Overnight bus from Salvador to Fortaleza, 21 hours, 206.50 Reais
I took the Penha bus service from Salvador to Fortaleza, this was a 21 hour service, and the bus was again luxury with plenty of leg room and movies (in Portuguese).

Fortaleza to Sao Luis

2017-05-10T06:32:45+00:00 October 29th, 2016|Brazil, South America|25 Comments


  1. Zinara April 26, 2017 at 3:54 am - Reply

    I’ve been following your Latin American travels on your blog and all your blog posts are quite fascinating. What a song They Don’t Care About Us is. And it’s amazing the band play on the streets at least once a week. Taking a Capoeira class while based there sounds quite fun, too. I love to learn new things while I travel.

  2. Bhushavali April 26, 2017 at 4:59 am - Reply

    That’s one more UNESCO site from your blog! The Blue Cathedral looks fantastic!
    I’d love to visit Brazil for the huge statue of Jesus at Rio. Also attending the Rio carnival would be awesome!

  3. Juliette April 26, 2017 at 9:55 am - Reply

    What a cool place to go back to, where MJ filmed that video! That’s a great reason to want to go! Really awesome place, by the sounds of things. I’d definitely love to see the Blue Catholic Church. And I’d totally sign up to learn Capoeira!

  4. Alice Chen April 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I had no idea that there was a connection with Michael Jackson! How awesome! The Pelourinho is beautiful. I definitely want to visit!

  5. Iza April 27, 2017 at 12:03 am - Reply

    I also like the ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ of MJ. When I listen to it sometimes, it uplifts my spirit immediately. It was so cool that you visited Salvador. I know what is a Capoeira but I have not tried it yet. The church looks really beautiful.

  6. Global Girl Travels April 27, 2017 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I do remember that video from MJ – it is a nice trivia you shared here. I didn’t know this music video was shot here. Nonetheless, it was very interesting that you got to visit and explore this city. I love the vibrant colors and the beautiful architecture. This post has me curious about Brazil and I think I definitely should book a trip there soon!

  7. Rosie Benton April 27, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

    We are heading to SA soon and will have to add this to our list because I’m a big MJ fan! So cool you were able to visit the same spot the music video was filmed. Would definitely be interested in taking a Capoeira class too! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jitaditya April 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I liked the combination of old heritage and modern pop-culture in this post. Haven’t been to Brazil but more I see of it, more interested I become. I should start planning I think.

  9. Abhinav Singh April 29, 2017 at 7:25 am - Reply

    I love this small guides you keep publishing on how to travel between two destinations (Often in 2 different nations) . I love long bus rides and I hope I can repeat your experiences.

  10. Swati & Sam April 30, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

    The cathedral looks amazing. This post reminded me of Michael Jackson’s visit to India in 1996. I had google all those videos, brought back some nice memories from my childhood. Love the song, They don’t care about us.

  11. Joanna May 8, 2017 at 6:35 am - Reply

    I have been to Brazil a few months ago but only to Sao Paolo. I would love to explore more and Salvador looks like a great place to experience the culture of Brazil (and learn Capoeira of course). I can’t say I am a fan of Michael Jackson so I didn’t know that this is where he filmed one of his videos. It’s great when you get to step on the same stones as your idol did years back.

  12. Paulina May 8, 2017 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Wow both cities look amazing. Brasil must be a super exotic destination. The colours of the church look so bright. And I would definitely do a Capoeira clas.. Never tried it so far.

  13. Gracie Gill May 8, 2017 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Really?! That’s where Michael Jackson’s video “They Don’t Care About Us” took place? Now, I’m adding it in my bucket list! I wouldnt care if I need to pay for $5 to have a photo on that balcony! I love that song and it still gives me goosebumps watching it. I would love to see the band play too. Aside from that, I am very interested about the culture of the Latin America. And this post gave an additional excitement to visit those countries! Thank you!

  14. Vicki Louise May 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    What a great tidbit re the band from the MJ video! And cool that they play for free once a week. The Blue Cathedral and the elevator offering views from above both look great too. Hopefully I will visit for myself one day!

  15. Swati May 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Had no idea about Michael Jackson music video … the place looks steeped in culture, color and tradition..would love to visit someday !! Good to know that local transport is luxurious and quite good.

  16. Fillia May 9, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    The church building is gorgeous with blue colour. I won’t fine something like that here in England.
    How did you feel about 21 hours trip on a lux bus. I have done 24 hours on a crap bus and I got pain on my bump, and leg. Ergh xx

  17. Riely May 11, 2017 at 1:33 am - Reply

    You are right, the blue catholic church in the Pelourinho is stunning! Salvador. Pelourinho in general looks like a gorgeous city to visit. I had no idea that Michael Jackson’s music video “They Don’t Care About Us” was filmed in Salvador. Would be amazing to trace the steps of his music video. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Stacey Billingsley May 15, 2017 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Maybe someday I will go. I have never been anywhere in South America yet, let alone Salvador, Brazil but I’m still kicking, so there is hope! Your pictures are beautiful. I loved the Michael Jackson video filmed in the Pelhourinho and the band OLODUM.

  19. Carola May 15, 2017 at 6:11 am - Reply

    Very interesting! I’m not a Michael Jackson fan, so I might be forgiven for my lack of knowledge, but I always thought the video was filmed in Sao Paulo. The more you know…

    Salvador looks like a striking city regardless.

    Happy continued travels!

  20. Mariza May 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    What a great idea! Combining your love of travel with your love of music!

    The city looks amazing btw…and that church is just beautiful! Would love to see it one day. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Nicole May 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    That was a great MJ video. Classic. I didn’t make it to Salvador on my triip to Brazil last month but I’m definitely thinking I need to go back.

  22. Carmen Baguio May 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Yup! I would pay the $5 to have my picture made on the balcony! I had no idea where the MJ video had been made. Makes for a great travel story!

  23. Brooke May 18, 2017 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I’ve yet to get to Brazil but it’s such a colorful culture and country I hope to get there some day soon! and learning MJ history- priceless

  24. divsi May 21, 2017 at 3:50 am - Reply

    The song and dance simply adds to the vibrance of Latin America. Loving the updates of Brazil on your blog. The cathedral looks classic! 🙂 What fun it would be to enrol in the Capoeira class! 🙂 Happy traveling!

  25. Anna May 21, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Brazil ???????? is next in my list to travel. Thanks for adding to my intrigue and look forward to read more about South America from you, keep exploring !

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